2 1/2 Weeks to a New President

…but you don’t have to wait until then to get the job done.

The Fairmount Street library is a satellite voting location for the upcoming general election. This means that from today through November 1st you can walk in and cast your ballot early. You can avoid the November 4th hustle, and while you’re at it, enjoy the library for a bit. For a list of Scott county satellite voting times and locations, click here:

The Scott County Auditor’s office website has a sample ballot, a search engine to determine your polling place, and a section where they will tally the results.

You have 5 more days (Deadline Oct 25th) to register if you haven’t already.

Like shopping the day after Thanksgiving, some folks really get a kick out of being in the thick of things and pulling the curtain on the big day. And then there are some of us that would rather sleep. What do you think?

Columbus Day

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

Happy Columbus Day, where we celebrate the discovery of the North America by Christopher Columbus. Of course, there are many theories about other people that may have gotten here first, and there are several Native American groups that would have an argument about how great this was, but tradition (and the lure of a three-day weekend) keeps us setting aside the second Monday of October in observance of the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Many government offices, banks and schools are closed today, but your Davenport Public Library is still open! We’ll be open our regular Monday hours – 9:30am to 5:30pm at Fairmount, and 12 noon to 8pm at Main for all your information and reading needs, Christopher Columbus-related or not.

Now Out of Print – Booktalking

written by Angela

Oh, how technology changes everything – sometimes for the (much) better!

I started my library career in 1997 at DPL’s Reference Desk. One of the tasks I was assigned was to create a reader’s advisory newsletter. I started Booktalking, a bi-monthly print newsletter which featured reading lists, anecdotes, and book/author information. I still have copies of the newsletter back to 2001 – don’t know where I saved the older archives, probably on a (gasp!) floppy disc, but at least it was the smaller disc, not the record-album-looking one from War Games. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can read back-issues of Booktalking on the Library’s website, but only back to 2006. Probably because I recycled old articles and added a new twist.

Most of my reading tastes are still the same – love chick lit by Marian Keyes; love laughing at Carl Hiaasen. But there is a much better way to get this information to the public in a timely and interactive manner. Blogging! (And when I re-read this entry in 5… scratch that … 2 years, I’ll be like, “Blogging – that’s so archaic. It’s all about the microchips in the brain now, man. Read my mind…”). Sadly, we don’t have that technology in Iowa yet, so we blog. And the Reference Department has created a dandy blog that captures the essence of my original newsletter, Booktalking.

So, Booktalking as a publication is gone, but in its place is something beautiful, magical really – “Info Café.” Read it daily (you’re reading it now, in case you didn’t know). I’d tell you to bookmark it, but that’s sort of last year, too. RSS feed it, baby. Don’t know how? Call the Reference Desk – no, wait, who has time to make phone calls anymore? You can chat with them live on the “inter-galactic web” (internet).

Wake me up when technology stays the same for more than day. Until then, read books. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Bix Weekend is Here!

The annual celebration of the music of Bix Beiderbecke is in full swing today and tomorrow. Be sure to get out there and participate, whether you’re running or walking in the nationally renowned Bix 7 road race or enjoying music of some of the world’s finest musicians at the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival.

Just a reminder, because of the congestion in downtown Davenport today, the Main library will be closed. The Fairmount Street library will be open 9:30am-5:30pm. Both buildings will be open their regular hours on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Bix Porch Party at the Davenport Library

Help us kick off the Bix Festival on Thursday, July 24, at 11:30 AM, at the 21st Annual “Bix Porch Party,” a block-party featuring live jazz music from Don Estes and The Prairie Ramblers, located in front of the Davenport Public Library Main Street location (321 Main Street). This free event is for people of all-ages. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets as we block off Main Street for a fun-filled free afternoon of music, popcorn, lemonade, and party favors! Hot dogs will sold at bargain prices as a fundraiser for the Teen Volunteer Council. Stop in the Library afterwards and visit the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center to learn more about Bix and to see the display of Bix Jazz Festival posters. It’s never too soon to start having fun!

Wi-Fi at the Library

Laptop computerBoth Davenport library buildings – Main and Fairmount Street – offer free internet access via our wireless network. All you need is your library card number and a laptop.

Don’t have a library card yet? Stop by the Customer Service desk and sign up for one today.

Don’t have a laptop? Sorry, can’t help you with that one! But we do have PCs with internet access available in both buildings. Internet surfing for everyone!

One Million Dollars, hoo hoo hoo hah hah hah!


Say it with fiendish glee like Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers trilogy for maximum comedic effect…

For a cool million bucks, you can have Minneapolis’s automated book-sorting system. Adapted from the travel and postal industries, an employee beeps in the item at the beginning of the belt and the system allows it to travel a prescribed distance before a pneumatic arm pops out and flicks it into one of 40 specific bins. Course, with 25 branches and a cathedral like the downtown building, a nifty doohickey like this comes in handy.

Can you fathom there are library systems larger than Davenport, Iowa’s? I Know! They must have a real savvy HR person at the San Francisco Public library system to keep tabs on their 800 employees. One of the cool things from attending the Public Library Association’s conference last week was the opportunity to see how these mega-systems keep things running smoothly.

Enjoy the additional shots of reflecting downtown skyscrapers, the five-floor Jetsons-esque view from the Minneapolis Public Library entrance, and the world’s most gigantic cherry from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Downtown Minneapolis



When Librarians Attack

PLA Bowker PeoplePut just under 10,000 librarians in a convention center and you’ve got yourself some highly classified and neatly-arranged pandemonium. That was the case last week in Minneapolis at the Public Library Association convention.

It’s an opportunity to learn techniques from professionals who fight the good fight in larger operations and different states. We attended meetings such as “Working with Difficult Patrons” and (for our upcoming Eastern Avenue branch) “Libraries as Greenbuildings”.


There are hundreds of vendors (like the party people from Bowker above) vying for the library’s attention, specializing in the items we check out to you folks, as well as the technology we use behind the scenes. One of these vendors brought in renowned mystery novelist C.J. Box to talk in their booth (in the picture on the right).

In addition to learning about the awesome reverse discrimination in men’s restroom lines at a library convention, I learned these folks aren’t too shy with the free snacks and tschotkes.

Next time, some cool Minneapolis Public Library hardware and views of the Twin Cities.